A Broken Family…

I love my morning time. No matter how late I go to bed, I enjoy getting up (even with heavy eyes) and having my morning coffee in silence and peace. It’s the time I take to look around and be grateful for all God has blessed me with. Our beautiful home, good coffee, beautiful daughters, being married to my best friend and even my furry cat that cuddles up to me on the chair while I drink my morning coffee. I enjoy this time. The silence. The peace. The calm before the storm. I clear my head and prepare myself for the day ahead. I feel it’s necessary for me to give my all and be functional once the kids wake up. It’s only fair to them that I’m prepared and calm, willing and ready to tackle their every need.

This morning I am sipping my coffee while listening to Christmas music on the television. I love this time of the year. It warms my heart and soul. I love the decorations, the Christmas trees, the music, the movies and the weather. Whether it be north or south, the cooler weather always makes it that much better.

When I was a little girl, my mom and dad always took us to my grandparents each year for Christmas. But the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve were the best. My sister and I would help decorate the outside of the house with Grandpa in the cold, snowy weather. We rigorously checked each bulb on a strand of lights when or if they weren’t lighting up. It was my favorite thing to do with my Grandpa. I put a light bulb in the battery light checker and it would light up if it was still good or not light up if it was a dud. We’d know if it didn’t light up then that was the problem with the entire strand of lights being burnt out. We put out the tall yellow plastic candle sticks on each side of the steps to the front of the house. Plug them in and watch them light up. Each year, the same decorations, the same set up and amazing memories made. It was memorable. Every single year. They made it so so special for us. These memories are beautiful and I treasure them. Regardless of our life situation now, and the divide between families. I truly love that I have these good feelings and good memories to share with my children.

My sister and I would help my grandma cook, clean and decorate the inside of the house. We’d always bake and decorate the best cookies ever. We’d set out an olive tray, a pickle tray and have containers and containers of cookies. Peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies, sugar cookies, gum drop cookies and coconut macaroons. They were epic and unique. My Grandma had the best cooking and baking. She was 100% german. She had the best German cooking and her personality was rough around the edges, but oh so sweet. She stood for what she believed in and made sure everyone was aware of it. She was short and sweet but also short and full of sass. I admired her. She was an amazing woman. She always made the holidays so much fun for us girls. She always had something planned. Outfits, photos, cooking, events, etc. She’d dress us up or take us out in the brisk cold winter to stand in line for hours just to get the honey baked ham each year. She would buy us pretty christmas dresses and do our hair in rollers. She would do our makeup and always give us an early Christmas present. We’d wrap gifts on the pool table. We’d decorate the tree with garland. We’d watch Christmas movies she taped for us on VHS. We’d play in the snow and make snowmen. Christmas was the best time of the year. She always had something planned. And she always did such a great job at making us girls feel loved and special.

…as I sit here today, this morning, and write this, tears fill my eyes and pain fills my heart. My Grandma is dying. You see, she has dementia (COPD, emphysema, etc). And her and my Grandpa haven’t spoken to me in a few years because of a fall out with my father. Sadly, I cannot prove my worth to them. Nor can I explain the faults of myself or my father in the entire situation. All I know is that life is so short. So precious. And regardless of the pain and hurtful words said, my love for them hasn’t diminished. It hasn’t stopped. I pray daily that God will let go of the anger and resentment in their hearts. Like he did me. I’ve forgiven. Because that is what He wants us to do. I am not perfect. I have my faults as we all do. But sadly, when reaching out to my Grandpa most recently, he quickly rejected anything to do with me, my family and our two daughters. He wants absolutely nothing to do with his beautiful great granddaughters. I was at least hoping he’d tell my Grandma as she was slipping away, how much I love her. But he won’t even do that. So I will pray. Pray that God will tell her when she makes it to him, just how much I love her, have loved her and appreciate all she has done for me. I see her in me everyday. The things I do. The way I cook. The way I clean. She has been an influence in my life in good ways and bad. I admired her strength to leave Germany to raise a family here in the United States.

Life can be so difficult at times. It can throw you things that you’re not prepared to deal with. It can tear your heart apart and divide families.

At least I know in my heart that I tried to reach out. I tried to mend the broken family. The broken hearts. The broken relationships. I tired to be the better person. I tried to express my love.

Regardless…my love will never fade.

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Christmas 2004:

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Christmas 2005:

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Christmas 2006:

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Christmas 2007:

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Christmas 2008:

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And just some of my favorites:

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